USPS pauses changes to service, easing concerns surrounding November Election

SPOKANE, Wash. — With accusations of election tampering and threats of lawsuits, the U.S. Postal Service has reversed course.

The Postmaster General said recent moves, which have slowed down mailing service, will stop until after the election.

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The national decision lets local sorting centers in Wenatchee, Yakima and Tacoma keep their machines on.

Wenatchee’s sorting center was shut down Saturday, forcing some letters and packages to be redirected to Spokane.

That was one move which led Washington to lead a coalition of states in a lawsuit, challenging the Trump Administration’s “unlawful service cuts” of the USPS.

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“They were talking about shutting down during lunches, and with all the parcels we’re delivering now a lot of people aren’t home, so they have to come to the office to pick it them up,” Ryan Harris of the Washington Postal Workers Union said.

Postmaster General Luis Dejoy put those plans on hold Tuesday.

He reassured Americans retail hours at post offices will not be changed, and processing equipment along with blue collection boxes will stay where they are.

On top of that, overtime will continue for employees, meaning ballots and other mail will arrive on time.

“Ballots are going to continue to move at a good clip,” Spokane Co. Auditor Vicky Dalton said.

Dalton said Washington’s ballots would have been fine, regardless of the changes. That’s because this is a postmarked ballot state, so ballots can arrive a little late.

That’s not the case across the nation.

“Some states require the ballot actually be in the hands of the election official by close of business election day,” Dalton said.

Dalton said there would be serious election concerns if the Postmaster General didn’t reverse those changes Tuesday.

Many people would have to vote a little earlier in other state for their ballot to count.

“A lot of the counties send their ballots out standard mail, so it’s up to 10 days to be delivered instead of first class mail, which is up to 5 days,” Harris said.